Educational Psychologist, vol. 35, issue 1 (2000) pp. 25-37
This article draws from discussions that have been taking place over the last 20 years concerning the interplay of social contextual research and theory and knowledge about writing development. Beginning with a survey of these academic discussions and then detailing what this theory suggests through an examination of the academic literature and classroom examples, the article suggests that writing development is (a) reflective of social historical contexts, (b) variable across local contexts, (c) reflective of classroom curriculum and pedagogy, (d) shaped by social interactions, (e) tied to social identities, and (f) conceptualized as a nonlinear process. It then argues that a social contextual stance on writing development shifts perspective not away from the individual writer and the individual product, but toward seeing that writer and text in multiple contexts that complicate our understanding of writing process.
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